London's Barbican hosts Turner Prize winners for travelling art project

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 June, 2015, 6:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 June, 2015, 6:45pm


Some of Britain's most acclaimed contemporary artists including Jeremy Deller and Martin Creed have announced creative residencies at the Barbican Centre in London this summer as part of a travelling art project.

"Station to Station" will see the two Turner Prize winners each occupying the galleries and outside spaces of the venue in July to create music and performance pieces. Artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, whose first feature film was the award-winning Nick Cave drama-documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, will also be in residence, creating a new film inspired by Paradise Lost.

The month-long project at the Barbican is created and curated by US video and installation artist Doug Aitken. It includes musicians such as Micachu and Savages creating pieces alongside installation artists such as Anri Sala and Marcus Coates that will be performed as part of the "living art project".

The event is the only European stop for the "Station to Station" project, which was originally hosted as a living exhibition on board a train that travelled 6,400km across America in 2013. It encouraged its artists and musicians to create work along the way that was "outside of their comfort zone". Urs Fischer, Carsten Höller, Beck, Ariel Pink, Patti Smith and Thurston Moore were among those who took part in the US leg of the journey.

"For me this project was always an ideology," Aitken says. "When we look at culture now, we see contemporary art surrounded by galleries and auctions, we see music surrounded by industry and the same for film. All these industries create standards, norms, and I believe there is so much more that can happen. And that really only goes back to the individual and empowering the individual with different opportunities, to create things that are more about friction and experimentation and living as opposed to a more processed culture.

"So the way to do that is to create a living project, and 'Station to Station' is that. It is a space that ignores the silos between mediums and breaks down that separation between mediums and is almost about making things in the moment. Almost like a flammable art," he says.

A film of the American leg will premiere at the Barbican. Aitken has edited together 62 one-minute clips that he says capture a different moment of creativity along the three-week journey.

It has taken him more than 18 months to bring the project to the Barbican and persuade 100 international artists to take part. Most of the performances and interactive installations will be accessible to the public for free.

Speaking about his decision to bring his nomadic project to a stationary venue, Aitken says: "The project is always changing. Kind of like a particle accelerator, where all these ideas are moving and mingling together, so it doesn't become that traditional exhibition where you go, you see and you walk out with a catalogue.

"This is the kind of project where the second you leave the room, something else has happened. And London is just an incredible international crossroads."

In the spirit of using the space to explore new territory, Deller's contribution to the project will be a musical performance piece with Guildhall percussionist George Barton. They will curate four weekend art gallery performances with musicians improvising re-interpretations of the sounds of British industry, from engines to mills and condensers.

Meanwhile, for his two-day residency beginning on July 9, Creed will live inside the exhibition, creating, rehearsing and putting on a special musical performance with a five-piece band and dancers on stage.

A special vinyl pressing plant will be set up at the Barbican, where music and installations created during the project will be recorded and pressed onto records that the public can buy.

The Guardian

"Station to Station" is at London's Barbican from June 27 to July 26